Manage My Life

Is Insulbrick a good vapor barrier?

by Manage My Life Last activity date:
April 26th, 2007

I am trying to cover the exterior of my home with vinyl siding. The issue is the insulbrick siding I have on the walls now?Do I remove this siding before I install vinyl or can I cover it? What I want to do is cover the insulbrick with a 3/8 or 1/2 inch insulating board and then attach the vinyl siding.Some builders here in Winnipeg Manitoba say it is okay and others are saying I haveto remove the insulbrick because it does not breathe and will rot the walls.Some history on the house; it is around 100 years old and we replaced all the windows above ground, re insulated the walls from the interior and applied a vapor barrier in the walls and ceiling. I am hoping you can supply me with the correct (proper) way to install the vinyl siding.

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Building Supplies
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Manage My Life
On its best day, when it was brand-new, you might argue that insulbrick acted as a vapor barrier. Even then, there were experts to that would say that the number of joints in the insulbrick made it a bad vapor barrier. All these years later, I would not be concerned about the insulbrick breathing. It will likely breathe as well or better than the 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch insulating board that you intend to install.

Because your walls have been re-insulated, we would even questioned the necessity or the economic payback for the insulating board, unless of course the vinyl siding installers are looking for a smooth surface to start with. Any additional depth can make for odd looking reveals at protrusions through the wall, such as doors, windows, electrical masts and so on.
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by Manage My Life
April 26th, 2007
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